Three years in the past, director Crystal Moselle burst onto the indie scene with “The Wolfpack,” a wild (if, to a former colleague, reasonably implausible) documentary about a group of male siblings raised in near-isolation proper in the course of the Decrease East Aspect. Now, she’s discovered one other fearless, feral LES crew to profile: the Skate Kitchen, an all-female skateboarding collective.
Utilizing the real-life skaters themselves, Moselle’s opted for a fictional narrative, with blended outcomes. The primary part of “Skate Kitchen” is a joyous, feminist name to arms (er, wheels): 18-year-old Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), annoyed with the sausage get together that’s her native Lengthy Island skate park and her mom’s (Elizabeth Rodriguez) insistence that skating’s unladylike, sneaks into Manhattan to take a look at the Skate Kitchen, whose Instagram she follows religiously (in actuality, Vinberg is without doubt one of the Skate Kitchen crew).
She’s immediately welcomed into their ranks (they comply with her, too, she learns) and a entire new world opens up — a world during which younger ladies unapologetically take up house on Manhattan streets, clowning and pratfalling and snarking at lame bystander commentary. Moselle shoots downtown road scenes with ardour and deep familiarity, setting the motion to an infectious, raucous soundtrack (which made me really feel about 100 years outdated for not realizing any of its tracks).
The excessive is diminished when the narrative takes a flip — as fictional narratives will — as Camille is tempted away by a dude (a competent Jaden Smith) who’s already dated one other member of the gang. That growth had me tapping my foot ready for Camille to come back to her senses — and wishing Moselle had made this a documentary as a substitute. These dynamos don’t want a screenplay to carry anybody’s consideration.